Weekend Storm Update

Water Vapor satellite image with developing storm over New Mexico

Upper Air analysis at about 30,000 feet 7pm Thursday Dec. 16, 2010

U.S. model: GFS at 7am Sunday, 19 Dec 2010

U.S. model: NAM keeps main snow off shore 1pm 19 Dec 2010

RPM 1pm 19 Dec 2010...heaviest snow east of the bay

RPM model shows 4-8" of snow on the beaches by 7pm Sunday

The evening model runs are trickling in and, while far from being a clear cut scenario, there seems to be the subtle hint of a consensus beginning to appear.  The 0z (7pm EDT) balloon launches found the 144 mph (125 kts) jet max winds associated with Thursday’s mid Atlantic snowmaker pushing out to sea near Wallops Island, VA, and a new 115 mph jet max punching into the west side of an upper trough of low pressure over the desert southwest.  This southwestern trough is forecast to become the east coast storm on Sunday.

Both of the U.S. models (GFS and NAM), as well as our in-house RPM (Rapid Precision Model), deliver just a glancing blow to the Baltimore area on Sunday, keeping the storm far enough east to make coastal towns the main snow target.  The RPM has 4-8″ of snow on the beaches at Ocean City, MD and Atlantic City, NJ by 7pm Sunday.  There was, however, a slight shift west in the track of storm from 18z to the 0z model runs, and the 0z Canadian and European models have not completed yet.  So, we are maintaining a 30% – 40% chance of snow in the Baltimore area Saturday night into Sunday, with greater chances east of Baltimore toward the coast.

…update to the update…

I just saw the output from the Canadian and Euro models through the weekend…the Euro is farthest east, keeping the snow completely off the coast.  The Canadian looks similar to the GFS, NAM, and RPM…a glancing blow of light snow in Baltimore on Sunday, with heavier amounts possible on the MD/DE/NJ beaches.  It will be interesting to see what the Euro does on Friday…come into line with the other models or, remain the outlier?

Either way, gusty winds and cold temperatures can be expected for the Ravens game vs. the Saints on Sunday…it is just not clear yet whether that game will also include some snow.  Stay tuned.

Tom Tasselmyer

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